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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes I wish he had a twin to distract him.

It's no secret that Baby J is a wild man. My own mother made me come get him after she kept him for twenty minutes, during which time he broke one thing, then broke two or three more while she was fixing the first, smiling sweetly the whole time, I'm sure. He's not unpleasant, just "busy," as little old Southern ladies like to say. Very, very busy. I never understood the magnitude of the busy child before this one - and I sympathize with parents of children out there who are even more industrious. Some people aren't sympathetic. At a birthday party recently, I said, to no one in particular,

"I'm not used to taking care of him all by myself!"

No one in particular answered, "Your own child?" And laughed, adding an eye roll for effect as she walked away. I was reminded of the very funny blog someone brought to my attention recently. I'm not the Best Parent Ever. But did I really deserve eye roll for that? And...wait... does my sympathy for other parents make me the Best Parent Ever? I hope so. And I hope there's a big, shiny trophy to go with the one I already have for Meanest Mommy Ever.

I don't think children were meant to be brought up in a vacuum. I say, the more grownups involved, the better. That way, when they ask you a hard question like, "Have you had Botox?", you can direct them to a mature adult.

My husband has been in the mountains since Sunday with our two oldest children. To Baby J's immense relief, he got back today. He didn't bring the brothers with him and I know Baby J is disappointed. This week has been hard. Almost everyone he sees on a more or less daily basis is out of town, Daddy, his brothers, my parents, his aunt, uncle and cousins. Even the neighbors and our regular babysitter are out of town. I thought this would be a good week for her to take off. I mean, how hard can it be to take care of one child?

Answer: Very hard. Especially when he's used to constant companionship. Every time I go to pick him up out of bed after a nap or in the morning, we have this conversation.

Baby J, smiling, "Mommy!"

Me, "J! I wubs you sho mush! Chan I pich 'oo up?*"

Baby J, ecstatic, "Yay!"

Then he switches to a serious face, "Where Daddy/O/X-Man?" He chooses one of the three at random.

Me, "He's in the mountains."

Baby J, mad as hell,"NOPE! NO THANK YOU!"

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just say "no thank you" to answers we didn't like? Lucky for both of us, Daddy came back today. Baby J went to the drop-in nursery this morning, insisting on carrying Daddy's newspaper with him. He dragged it in from the driveway and wouldn't let go of it, even when he went into his classroom. With the newspaper tucked under his fat, wittle arm, he looked like a tiny version of Daddy on the way to the bathroom. What kind of kid uses the New York Times as a security blanket? A cute, wittle boo-boo bear who wuvs hish daddy, that's who!

Namasté, y'all!

* I talk like this to all my children and they don't seem to have lingering speech problems. So there.

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